Objectives. We examined correlates of condom use among a national random probability sample of sexually experienced young adults aged 15 to 24 years (n = 7686) in South Africa. Methods. Using data from the Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit National Youth Survey, we conducted gender-stratified bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses to determine predictors of whether respondents had used a condom during their most recent sexual intercourse. Results. Condom use at sexual debut and talking with one’s first sexual partner about condoms were the most significant predictors of condom use at most recent intercourse. Other significant predictors included high condom use self-efficacy, optimism about the future, and reported behavior change attributable to HIV/AIDS. Young adults who were married or had been involved in a relationship for 6 months or more were significantly less likely to have used a condom during their most recent sexual intercourse. Conclusions. Our findings point to the importance of exposing youths to sexuality education before their sexual debut as well as voluntary counseling and testing and programming that supports young adults, particularly young women, in making informed decisions about sexual intercourse and condoms.
American Journal of Public Health (2007) 97 (7) 1241-1248 [DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2006.086009]